10-4-17: Tropical Depression #16 Forms
Right on schedule, tropical depression #16 has formed in the southern Caribbean Sea. Outside of land interaction with Nicaragua and Honduras Thursday, the environment is favorable for intensification. In fact, TD #16 could become tropical storm Nate at any time. How strong soon to be #Nate gets in the long term will depend on how much it gets roughed up by its encounter with land. If it doesn't get too beat up and gets its act together quickly, it could strengthen quickly and become a strong category 1 or even a category 2 hurricane by Sunday. If land takes a significant toll on the organization of the system, it would be slow to recover and likely approach the Gulf coast as a tropical storm. I'll have a better idea by Friday once the system has moved away from Central America.
High pressure slipping off the east coast and a trough approaching from the central U.S. will force Nate to move northwest then north then northeast at a steady rate of speed. While there is still uncertainty as to when Nate will cross the coastline on the Gulf coast, it will come ashore between Lousiana and Florida. Afer landfall the system will quickly weaken while accelerating northeast. The exact track of the system will ultimately determine what impacts we get here.
I think with either scenario below, the overall impacts are low and mainly Sunday night through Monday night.
SCENARIO #1 - WESTERLY TRACK
A track along or west of the Appalachian mountains would limit any impacts here. Moisture would increase and we would have some scattered showers, but likely less than a half inch of rain. Wind would not be an issue and the threat of a tornado just about zero as well.
SCENARIO #2 - EASTERLY TRACK
A track east of the Appalachian mountains or right over us would bring more impacts, but even then, the overall impacts would be low. The potential for heavy rainfall would increase, but even if we received several inches of rain, we've been dry so there would be no flooding issues. Even though Nate would be weakening rapidly, we would get stronger winds that could gust in the 30s. That strength would not cause damage or power outages. Being closer and to the right of Nate's track would mean more spin in the atmosphere that would be capable of producing a brief, isolated tornado.
We're still 4-5 days from potential impact around here so I am sure you know by now that things can change. It's best to check back each day for the very latest!
I'll have another update Thursday